Monday, April 26, 2010

Earth Day... how we did

Well, Earth Day has come and gone - and I didn't even blog on it!  Bad green blogger, me!  Even though I wasn't writing, I thought I'd share what we did - and what we are still doing.  

If you go back to Earth Hour last month we did turn off all the lights, lit some candles and just sat back and relaxed.  Friends came over and they joined us.  (and they never even gave me 'the look' when they arrived to the lights all off)

Then leading up to Earth Day, I sadly missed the City of Surrey's fantastic shindig.  They put on a great celebration, with a fish release, story time, music, demonstrations and more.  But I missed it because I was doing something green.  I was at the kidswap!  I've blogged about these before, but really, a kids only swapmeet is an amazing thing.  It's a whole economy in itself.  I arrived with my bins of stuff, set up my table and since the doors hadn't opened to the public, proceeded to check out everyone else's stuff.  My kids are now the proud owners of a tool bench and a hungry hungry hippo game that cost me a fraction of retail.  Nanna bought a table and chair set for her place (among other things, lol). 

I think this is a fantastic way to reuse stuff.  I sold a lot, people got great deals, things stayed out of the landfill, and lots and lots of stuff is getting reused - sometimes over and over as people continue to do this as their children outgrow things.  With all the recalls, thrift stores are very hesitant to take toys and kids items, but armed with knowledge (gleaned from the Health Canada website - you can go to to search recalls and most countries have their own information posted by their respective agencies) about recalls and what is safe, what needs new parts, etc. a buyer at these swapmeets can do very well for themselves.   For example - if you know that a crib has a recall but you know that the company has a fix to order - you can buy the item second hand for much much less than retail and then order the parts before you use it.  You end up with great savings and a safe item.    And many recalls are to alert consumers to the 'fix' you need to get so the item is safe.  By the same token, you can search what cannot be fixed and know to avoid it - and even educate the seller so they can return it.

I just love second hand shopping - it gives everything a second chance! 

After the swapmeet, I posted some stuff on craigslist, gave away a few things on fullcircles and donated a big box of clothing and accessories for baby to a local pregnancy crisis centre.  (Pregnancy Options in Surrey, BC)   I like that they give things to the people who need them.  If you are interested in something like this, contact your local Pregnancy Options place and see what they can use.  Often space is very limited so it's good to see what they can use, or let them find someone who can use what you have if it's bigger.  And remember, it's nice for babies to have nice things - I've always given a mix of play clothes and dressier clothes, and never things that are too worn. I like to think that donations would be what I'd want, too.

I have also been working on my kitchen.  I really wanted a new set of canisters and breadbox, but have decided to paint the ones I have.  After all, they are the size and style I want, just not the colour anymore.  I'll take pictures and share the result. (assuming I do a good job!)  This keeps me from buying more stuff - reusing is definitely a better option.

We started to put a little 'green' into our lives this past Sunday.  My preschooler and I planted potatoes and onions, fixed up our pots outside (where I transplanted a few things from the garden I'm going to move) and are contemplating the completion of the new veggie bed.  He's getting his own little plot in there.  I thought he'd love a place to grow his Bean and maybe a few friends for Bean.

Next on the list is to move a what feels like a ton of dirt into our new veggie bed, and to clean out the pots for planting tomatoes and peppers in.    (and dig up the weeds in the front and put in rock - no more weeding! and hey, isn't rock xeriscaping at it's best?  low to no maintenance? and even better if I can get it for free if someone else local is pulling it from their landscaping!)

I'm looking to see how to reuse things.  I still have a pile of bricks at the side of my house.  I picked up large ceramic pot saucers on clearance (they were seconds) and I think I'll put the bricks together to make a stand to use them as birdbaths.  Functional and reusing something I had no use for.  

So far that's what we've been up to.  I'm still clearing the garage and giving away stuff like crazy.  I'm thinking that this week we'll be done in there and we can finally organize what we are keeping.  It's spring and I'm in the mood to let go - a popular thing for many. It's the season for lightening up.  

What are you doing around your home?

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